MLU & Gentlebirth for First Pregnancy

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kohl Posts: 108
Just looking for any experiences of how first timers got on in an MLU or from those that used the gentlebirth programme? I started it 3 weeks ago and finding it great, not due for a few months but finding it good for being calm & positive and sleeping at night. Getting the usual comments about how mad I am, just you wait, take all the drugs you can get blah blah blah! Thankfully I have a couple of friends and my mam who are all for it so I do have support. So really just wondering how you found the MLU? Did you have a very long labour, did you get so far and decide you needed the epidural? Any tips for me? Most stories I've read are from 2nd & 3rd pregnancies so I'm curious about how it went for first timers like me. I do want to stay in the MLU and would rather not get an epidural but I am not dead against having to leave it if its just too much for me. I'm pretty open to going with whatever happens but I need to stick to my guns to a certain point too and stay positive about it. I'm happy that the midwife unit is the best place for me to do this.
Coco M Posts: 145
I used gentle birth for my first pregnancy and labour. I had a great experience. The midwife looking after me offered me the epidural when I was 4cms as she said it was going to be a long day. I told her it didn't have to be a long day. I proved to be right. I was fully dilated an hour and a half later and my daughter was born after 15-20 mins of pushing. I laboured at home for 4 hours and 3.5 hrs in hospital. No stitches, no epidural, just a bit of gas and air and the gentle birth music in the background. My husband was fantastic at reminding me to relax my neck and shoulders after each contraction. I didn't get much of a gap between them for that last hour. I think having a positive attitude and staying open minded is the key. Good luck!
atina Posts: 2240
Just wondering when you say you used gentle birthing what did you actually do, is there a particular cd you listened to or how did you go about it? Sorry a bit clueless about all this!
LittleLily Posts: 3682
It's definitely not just 2nd and 3rd timers kohl. It's totally doable on a first. My baby is nearly 6 weeks old and I managed a 17 hour labour and eventually had a home birth. For pain relief I used the bath and the shower, some counter pressure by hubby and midwife, and breathing. Hubby was a great support. Used gentle birth beforehand but I have to admit I lost it towards the end but managed the birth anyway. Little fella was 8lbs 8oz and had no tearing. You can do it!
Coco M Posts: 145
I used the CDs from gentle by Tracey donegan
kohl Posts: 108
Thanks ladies, just what I needed to hear. Wow Coco M thats the kind of labour Im hoping for. I feel it will really help me stay in control otherwise I could see myself being a bit panicky and all over the place. Oh wow littlelily no pain relief! amazing! [quote="atina":2bi8lsrq]Just wondering when you say you used gentle birthing what did you actually do, is there a particular cd you listened to or how did you go about it? Sorry a bit clueless about all this![/quote:2bi8lsrq] Atina, yes its the gentlebirth hypnosis course I am talking about. Ive been doing some pregnancy yoga too and the instructor has mentioned Tracey a few times, not this program in particular but some of her books. I bought it online, normal price is €70 but keep an eye on the facebook page because after I bought mine, I liked the page and saw I had just missed out on a discount.
NittyGritty Posts: 1605
I used Gentlebirth for my first labour, although I wasn't permitted to use the MLU. Maybe next time, eh? Anyway, I had a very positive birth experience for the most part. Any niggles I have (of which there are a few) are more related to the hospital than the birth, but that's a whole 'nother story. Look, it's not magic, it's not gonna take the pain completely away or anything, despite what some might say, but I feel that Gentlebirth took the fear out of labour, it filled me with confidence and a can-do attitude. If anything I was looking forward to getting stuck in. I too heard the "you'll be screaming for the epidural" remarks from the naysayers and skeptics (what is it with some people anyway?), so I learned pretty early on to keep my hypnobirth plans to myself. I listened to my CDs every night in bed for about 20 weeks. I only bought the Positive Hospital Birth and Breathing Techniques ones and found them more than sufficient. 9 times out of 10 I fell asleep before getting to the end, but was assured that this was just as effective. It still gets in there. I also did one of Tracy's workshops. Although we really enjoyed it and found it very informative, (my husband, in particular, found it useful) I don't think it's essential so don't worry about this if you can't stretch to it. I had a pretty quick labour for a first timer, around 9 hours from the first pain to having my baby in my arms. For pain relief I used a TENS machine and when I had my fill of that, counterpressure from my husband. I didn't actually listen to the CDs during labour even though I had my iPod with me, I just didn't feel like it. But I found myself repeating affirmations to myself the whole way through. Reminding myself to relax my jaw and muscles and stay as loose and calm as possible rather than tensing up during contractions also helped. Position was very important too. There was no way I could have stayed on my back, I preferred to be bent over. I birthed on my feet, bent over a bed as I found this the most comfortable position. Breathing was another tool I took from Gentlebirth. You know that 'Reee-laaax' one? I used it a lot. Your partner will be a huge support so it's important to brief him. If he's anything like mine, he'll want to be involved and feel useful. Maybe get him to have a look at acupressure points for labour. Like littlelily, I had a serious wobble towards the end. I reckon this was the transition phase they talk about. Anyway, soon after this and before I could get to the drugs, the urge to push came and that was my favourite part. I loved the pushing stage. It was such a relief to bear down into those surges. It felt really good. In a nutshell though (after my essay...) the most important thing is to keep an open mind. If you feel you need drugs, take them. Drugs or no drugs is not what Gentlebirth is about. You can have a gentle birth under any circumstances, be it drug free, induction, epidural or section. It's all about mindset, attitude and empowerment. So, not much then ;) Best of luck with it, I wish I could do it all again!
UsineBB Posts: 112
Ladies this is such an interesting, encouraging thread! I'm only recently pregnant (barely 5 weeks!!!) but I have been terrified of labour forever. It has actually stopped us TTC until now, and if I'm honest I'm still not sure I'm woman enough for the challenge. I think I'll get my hands on those CDs, they sound like they really take the edge of the fear, and I'm pretty sure fear increases your sensation of pain. Thanks so much for sharing.
kohl Posts: 108
Thanks NittyGritty. I started listening to them at about 20 weeks too. Good to hear its all going in even after I've dozed off. Really need to brief the hubby up on it too. UsineBB theres a book that comes with it and one thing that stuck in my head was about pain management. It gave an example of standing on a plug in your bare feet. Scenario no1 you had just been told you'd won the lotto! Scenerio no2 you've had a really crappy day! Which hurt more? Trying to explain pain is relative and can be managed. As NG says Im under no illusions of having a pain free hypno birth but hopefully this will help me cope with it.
UsineBB Posts: 112
I think I'll get those as soon as I'm pas the 12 week mark to help me prepare. Definitely under no illusions that the baby will flutter out of me painlessly on fairy-wings, but I want to get myself into an "I can do this evev if it hurts" mentality.